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Three humanoid robots standing in front of a glass wall.

Is a humanoid robot the next major AI innovation? A bunch of major tech investors are literally banking on it.

“Hasta la vista, baby!”

In the ‘90s, we all just thought it was the Terminator’s coolest line.

But if some of the biggest names in tech have their way, we could soon actually be interacting with human-like robots.

That’s because Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Silicon Valley firm NVIDIA, and a host of other tech giants have invested in a business aimed at finding new applications for artificial intelligence.

And one of the first innovations on the agenda is likely to be a humanoid robot.

News has broken in the last few days that the tech giants have splashed the investment cash on Figure AI – a Californian-based start-up committed to building life-like robots.

“Figure is the first-of-its-kind AI robotics company bringing a general purpose humanoid to life,” reads the blurb on the company’s website.

There are no Terminator clones in sight, though.


The Terminator in Madame Tussaud in London.

Humanoid robots are not Terminator clones, at least not just yet. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Daft Punk Meets Dyson

A quick glance at the website suggests the robots will look more like a cross between the guys from Daft Punk and a dancing Dyson stick-vacuum brought to life!

However, there’s some serious cash behind it.

Bezos has committed $US100 million through his Explore Investments firm, Microsoft is adding a further $95 million, while NVIDIA – whose share market value recently topped $2 trillion dollars on the back of the recent AI boom – has chipped in with an extra $50 million.

It’s all part of a funding round aimed at raising $675 million to find new ways for artificial intelligence to make a genuine difference to our lives.

Whether that means we’ll soon have life-like robots answering the door and doing the dusting like Rosey the Robot in The Jetsons is anyone’s guess.

But one thing is certain: future generations of AI technology are likely to look a lot more like the Terminator than a text-driven chatbot.


Human Support, Not Humanoid Robots

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